The Pinochet family is behind on its taxes for 23 properties. To pay the taxes, the family is requesting the release of CLP$16.3 million in frozen funds. The funds have been frozen since 2018.
The family of the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinchet seeks to withdraw CLP$16.3 million (almost US$21,000) from Banco de Chile to pay property taxes for 23 properties. The money requested is a small fraction of the more than CLP$1.6 billion (over US$2 million) frozen at Banco de Chile since 2018, due to an ongoing investigation for unjust enrichment.
As reported by Diario Financiero, the family claims that the money would only be used to pay overdue property taxes, interest, and accumulated fines, as calculated by the National Treasury. The payments would correspond to the last half of 2019, all of 2020, and the first half of 2021.
The properties and the accounts
The 23 properties the family owes taxes on are likewise frozen due to the investigation. They are located throughout the country, from Iquique to Ranco, and are valued at over US$17 million.
Some of the properties are registered under Pinochet’s own name; others, under firm names, such as Belview International S.A. and Abanda Finance Ltd., created to hide his identity.
Banco de Chile has been in possession of the frozen funds since 2018, but the secret firms created to hold the funds were established as early as 2004, after other secret accounts were discovered at Riggs Bank through a United States Senate investigation. During that investigation, it was established that Pinochet had over US$21 million spread across various bank accounts.
In 2018, Chile’s Supreme Court sentenced three retired military officers (Gabriel Vergara, Juan Ricardo MacLean and Eugenio Castillo) for being Pinochet’s accomplices in misappropriation of funds and the government confiscated a total of US$1,621,554 from the Pinochet family between properties and sums from the secret firms.
Javiera is from Santiago de Chile, she is studying journalism at Universidad de Chile, since 2017 and doing her internship at Chile Today.